Consumer spending on pork up 15 percent in 5 years

Consumer expenditures on pork have grown 15.7 percent since 2009 in the United States, including a 7.6 percent jump just last year, the National Pork Board reported last week.

"Overall, there was less pork to sell (in 2014) due to the impact of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus, so growth in the second half of the year came largely from higher pork prices," said Dale Norton, a Bronson, Michigan, pig farmer and president of the National Pork Board. "Despite record high prices, demand grew and was even higher than expected."

Analysts expect more pork to enter the market in the second half of 2015, which could lead to lower consumer prices at the meat counter and likewise may lower producer revenue even with continued strong consumer demand.

"The last two years have been outstanding for pork demand," said Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics and a pork checkoff consultant. "We haven’t moved demand upward by this...

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